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Reasons to Earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree

Gabe Nelson

As you progress through your nursing career, you may consider whether a DNP degree is the right choice for you. This degree is going to ask you to work harder and spend more time in school to reach it, but it can be so worth it if you are hoping to get ahead as a nursing professional and would like to open more career opportunities.  

There are a lot of different reasons why you may want to consider earning your Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree. Some of these benefits include:

Get the Highest Credential in Nursing

The DNP degree is going to be one of the highest credentials that you are able to get in nursing. This allows you to be one of the most educated in your field, which will open up a lot of doors that were not available before you got this type of degree. Because it is such a high degree, be prepared for it to be very rigorous and hard to complete.

These degrees are going to integrate in the right coursework and the clinical experiences that you need, building on the master’s degree you already have and making you work even harder to provide the necessary help that the patients will need.  

As you work through the curriculum of the DNP, you will be able to gain the highest level of skills and knowledge in a lot of different areas including:

  • Advanced nursing practice
  • Clinical prevention and population health
  • Interprofessional collaboration
  • Healthcare policy and advocacy
  • IT and patient care technology
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Quality improvement
  • Organizational and systems leadership
  • Scientific underpinnings for the practice

You will be able to focus on a niche in the field as well, allowing you to work with the group of patients that interest you the most as well.

More Career Opportunities

One of the benefits of getting a DNP degree is that you will find your earning potential and job opportunities will go through the roof. This degree is going to prepare you for executive-level leadership roles, which can be an exciting way to advance your career more than before.

The reason that you can take on these higher jobs is because the DNP will help you to understand all facets of the nursing practice. As a DNP graduate, you will know how to:

  • Identify some of the emerging trends
  • Initiate efforts to address clinical issues that show up
  • Mobilize interdisciplinary teams

With all of these competencies, you will be able to take on more responsibilities, which will bring out higher pay for you as well. The exact amount you are able to earn will depend on the exact job that you have, but it is much higher than what you would be able to get with a lower degree in nursing.

Parity with Other Health Professionals

Another benefit that you will be able to enjoy when you get your DNP degree is that you can achieve parity with other health professionals. Dentists, physical therapists, and medical doctors are just a few of the professionals who will need to get a doctorate degree in order to practice in their field.  

While it is possible for an APRN to practice with just a master’s degree, earning that DNP degree will provide you with the right educational credentials that put you up there with other experts in the field. This can also equip you with the skills to work well with a multidisciplinary team, giving you the head start that you need in this field.

The Demand for DNP Nurse Educators is High

There are several factors that are driving the need for doctorally-prepared nurses. One of these is that there is a shortage of nursing faculty who are available to teach the next generation of nurses.  

In fact, out of 870 nursing schools, there are a total of 1715 faculty vacancies as of the 2018 to 2019 school year. About 91% of these open positions would require or prefer someone with a doctoral degree. And it is likely that the numbers will go up as time goes on as well.

There are a lot of reasons why there is a lack of nursing faculty right now. The increasing age of current faculty, the rising number of professionals who are going into retirement, the salary, and stagnant enrollment all come together to make it hard to find the right professionals to teach the next generation of nurses.

If you would like to get into the education part of this career, then the DNP is one of the best options for you to choose. You will be able to find some amazing teaching opportunities all around the country, allowing you to work in an educational setting.

Prepare You for Leadership Roles

When you work to get your DNP degree, you will find that the curriculum is going to provide you for a leadership role. DNP graduates are going to be able to help the professional take on a leadership position and participate in some of the executive decision-making that healthcare facilities are looking for.  

The right DNP degree is going to teach you advanced nursing expertise and organizational and systems leadership. This allows the candidates a way to work in the highest ranks of a company and take on even administrative roles as well.

If you have wanted to work in the top positions at a healthcare facility, you will need to consider getting your DNP degree to help with this. You will learn the right skills that will help you to take on some of these roles and change the way that healthcare facilities do things to better help the patient.

Choosing the Right DNP Degree

Once you take a look at all of the benefits that come with a DNP degree, you will see that this is a great career choice to help you get ahead. Take a look at some of the benefits and see whether it is time for you to pursue this advanced degree.

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